COVID 19 has disrupted everything. And, interestingly, one specific thing that has been disturbed is the corrosive cynicism of collaboration as a valuable business strategy. The crisis brought by the global pandemic has led us to rethink the capacity of collaboration as a response to the pervasive nature of the recent disruption. Savvy business leaders realise that joining forces creates opportunities to think differently and innovate our way back to better business.

Collaboration as a key business driver is a no-brainer to astute business managers. But to many it creates cause for concern as collaboration is not about the simple math of adding two and two together. It is a disruption in itself. Most managers do not embrace disruption as a way of making businesses more competitive, sustainable and resilient; instead preferring to risk-manage and play the defensive game. Embracing collaboration is about embracing disruption, agility, innovation and complexity. The global pandemic has shown that many businesses took no time in realising how important a strategy that is.

Here are some good reads to help stimulate post-crisis collaboration strategy.



Collaboration In The Time Of Coronavirus

As the coronavirus spreads, companies must make proactive decisions that help them protect individual employee health, keep critical work on track, and prepare for the potential for planned business disruption. Many are revisiting policies, considering new technologies, canceling conferences and restricting all but business critical travel. And now Twitter is even encouraging all employees to work from home.

These commonsense precautions make perfect sense, yet there are profound implications for how work gets done. Whether the threat is short-term or long lasting, leaders who can enable a remote / virtual workforce to thrive will have a significant competitive advantage.

While virtual collaboration is becoming more and more common, many think of it as a “second-best” to being in person. It is true that face-to-face environments have unique qualities: you can break bread together, there’s more opportunity for informal interactions, and you have many more cues (such as body language) to understand how others are thinking and feeling. Because of these, we think of face-to-face time as necessary for high-stakes conversations, complex topics or for building relationships…READ ON


Collaboration Solutions Are Now Crucial To Any Organization

collaboration gears

One of the most important areas where technology can help is collaborating and communicating.

If your organization hasn’t already invested in collaboration technology, you’re behind the ball, according to installers and software providers.

Collaboration technology like unified communication systems, productivity platforms, screen sharing, videoconferencing, instant messaging, online whiteboards, file sharing and others are now a crucial component to doing business. According to Aaron McArdle, CEO of conference room installer RoomReady, says any successful company should embrace technology to help them get the job done.

For example, successful banks should be technology companies that offer financial services, and plumbing companies should be technology companies that offer plumbing services. “Technology is the foundation of how all great companies grow, innovate and scale,” McArdle says. “If you don’t embrace that, you’re going to be at a disadvantage.” One of the most important areas where technology can help is collaborating and communicating…READ ON


Coronavirus and Collaboration: Cooperating in a Time of Crisis

The Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde, famously observed how “life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”

About a year ago, a colleague introduced me to the world of “cooperative” board games, which stress cooperation over competition. There are no individual losers or winners. Instead, players work together as a group to achieve the objective of the game. If the group succeeds in attaining their common goal, everyone wins, and if the group fails, everyone loses.

I was hooked, and discovered there are cooperative games for all ages. For my youngest daughter, I purchased The Dinosaur Escape Game and Race to the Treasure. And to play with my twenty five year-old daughter and son-in-law during a visit, I bought Pandemic — a cooperative game in which players are members of a team tasked with preventing outbreaks and developing cures before several deadly diseases wipe out humanity…READ ON


More on how to collaborate during crises

On Friday, April 17, FreightWaves ran my Commentary: Grassroots organizations move faster in crises. In that commentary I argued that in order to effectively confront crises characterized by uncertainty, large, centralized organizations must partner with grassroots organizations in order to move fast.

While contemplating and writing that commentary, and even after it had been published, I worried that I might have missed something pretty obvious to someone with experience working in one of the agencies that I was critiquing. Nevermind that my commentary could be completely misinterpreted given how much pressure the people working in these large agencies are presently under.

But, I got lucky. Sandra Rothbard responded to a message I sent to members of The New York Supply Chain Meetup. We set up time to talk – by Zoom of course. I discovered that she would be able to help me fill in some of the gaps in my perception and knowledge of how such collaboration between grassroots organizations and large agencies functions….READ ON


Why Now Is The Perfect Time To Partner With Your Competitors

It is amazing how many business owners and corporate employees view similar businesses strictly as “competitors.” And it’s sad that these same business professionals throw away some of the best opportunities they face, if only they could see the opportunity. After all, now is the perfect time to start working together with your competitors to find a way out of the current economic situation.

What do I mean by that? If you own an Italian restaurant, isn’t every other restaurant in the city or town your competitor, your arch rival? Well, maybe, but not necessarily. Sure, they are just a rival if that’s how you choose to look upon their business and treat them. A wiser approach would be to look upon these other businesses and think, “Okay, so we compete for some of the same clientele or market. But, what can that business and mine offer each other that is mutually beneficial? In what ways can we work together without being at risk?”

Here is a scenario of someone working for a fabric manufacturer, managing a manufacturing facility. Suddenly, they have a terrible running condition with a particular product line…READ ON


How HR and talent organizations are collaborating to help restart the economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our all aspects of our lives from personal health, global economy, and the light speed arrival of the future of work into our daily lives now.

We’ve watched many industries lose as much as 90% revenue and working to find innovative ways to keep move forward.   In these innovations, collaboration and altruism are key ingredients for the “Next Normal” in business.

As the US entered its response to the pandemic, a March Economist article highlighted the importance of Chief People Officers in guiding organizations through the pandemic by leading the people strategy and transitioning their organizations to full remote work and digitization in a matter of weeks. HR organizations have been charged with taking care of employee health and financial health of the organization…READ ON


The Need for Tailored Collaboration

We ushered 2020 and unwittingly COVID-19 into our lives which also meant welcoming a period of ceremonious pause and introspection on the prevailing order of things—whether personal development or career progression. For years, certain traits and characteristics have been hyped as the ‘it’ skills to possess, in order to rise up the career ladder. Corporate firms have valued certain hero qualities in employees such as a high sense of distinct individualization and almost irrational self-dependence, for far too long now. Corporates have been on an eternal drive to find someone who has all the answers in an environment bustling with queries…READ ON